Regular Car Reviews Drives a 2000 Honda Insight
Mr. Regular serves up a review of Honda’s happy hybrid.
Regular Car Reviews is no stranger to Hondas. Indeed, the show’s host, Mr. Regular, drives every day in his Honda Fit. The show has reviewed a number of Accords and Civics, as well. However, this week finds Mr. Regular offering his take on the first-year Honda Insight. Yes, that two-seat darling of hypermilers gets the RCR treatment and it’s not the prettiest reckoning.
Honda offered the Insight in 2000 as one of the first gas-electric hybrids on the market. Unlike its Toyota Prius competitor, the Insight came with a tall-ratio five-speed manual. A three-cylinder, 1.0-liter engine and a small electric motor powered the Insight. The tall gearing and small powerplant did little for 0 to 60 times, but as Mr. Regular notes, the Insight follows one and only one principle: economy.
The all-aluminum construction, two seats, and spartan interior turned out a curb weight of a bit over a ton. The Prius, by comparison, weighed more than 2,700 pounds. The Honda Insight owner gets few amenities and the ones it gets were probably concessions by the designers. Of course, the Insight excels at economy and can return incredible gas mileage, but as Mr. Regular points out, that tends to pigeonhole hypermilers and Insight owners as graph-making, gas-mixture-arguing lunatics. He exaggerates, of course, but he brings across an interesting point. In pursuing economy, Honda sucked out all the Honda-ness.
Some Honda-imitation fills that void, he goes on as only Mr. Regular can. The Insight styling will always be divisive. The review dances around the word “retrofuturism,” but that’s exactly what plays here. The Insight looks like the 1970s (or so) version of what a car should look like: wheel skirts, kammback, two seats, and a general post-Space Age look. That it somehow feels like a chintzy 20-year-old GM design (to RCR anyway) crumples up a real retrofuturist concept.
As usual, Mr. Regular waxes poetic on it in his own unique way. Check it out here.